Results tagged ‘ Brad Miller ’
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. This post covers Nick Franklin batting leadoff for the first time in his MLB career, tonight’s pitching match-up between Hisashi Iwakuma and Derek Holland, and a Clemson connection.
Nick Franklin saw his name at the top of the lineup card for the first time in his Major League career Monday. “I love hitting leadoff,” Franklin said. “I’ve hit all up and down the order in my career, but feel like I’m at my best when I’m fighting off pitches and working counts.”
It will be interesting to see if Nick is leading off again Tuesday against Texas. When Franklin is seeing the ball well, he proved to be one of the more patient and effective hitters on the team. Through his first 35 games, the M’s second baseman hit .290/.350/.473. In his last 36 games Franklin is batting .177/.255/.355.
It will be up to Hisashi Iwakuma to keep the Rangers off the board Tuesday night. He’s coming off his 13th quality start of the season, holding the A’s to three runs over seven innings on August 21. Talking with Iwakuma yesterday after batting practice (through interpreter Antony Suzuki), he said he threw less sliders to the A’s in his last start and more fastballs. When asked what makes his 90 mph fastball to effective, Iwakuma said it was because of how well he hides the ball in his delivery.
Iwakuma will need to be especially stingy Tuesday. Texas starter Derek Holland has made three starts against Seattle this year and has struck out 26 batters over 19 2/3 innings while allowing just two earned runs (0.92 ERA).
There was a Clemson connection Monday night at Safeco Field. Jeff Baker was in left field for the Rangers while Brad Miller was at shortstop for the Mariners. “He was a big reason why I wanted to go to Clemson,” Miller said. With 59 career homers, Baker left Clemson as the school’s all time home run leader and was part of the Tigers 2002 College World Series team with Khalil Greene and Michael Johnson.
“All my friends wanted to play at Florida, but I knew I wanted to play at Clemson,” Brad explained. “What Baker, Khalil, and Johnson did there made me so excited to play for Clemson.”
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron talks with Brad Miller about facing his former Team USA teammate Sonny Gray.
It didn’t take many questions to get Brad Miller talking about his former teammate, Sonny Gray.
“He’s a competitor, number one. That’s what I love about him.”
Gray, the 18th overall pick in 2011 by the A’s, and Miller, taken in the 2nd round that same year, are now Major League rookies after both suited up for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2009 and 2010. Tuesday night in Oakland these two with face each other as Gray makes just this third Major League start.
With a 94 mph fastball and a deadly curveball, Miller was quick to say that Gray “pitches like he’s seven-feet tall.” Truth is, he’s 5-foot-11.
“Sonny was the guy we wanted on the mound that year,” Miller said with no hesitation. And that really is saying something since in 2010 Gerrit Cole — the number one overall pick in 2011 — was also a member of Team USA’s rotation.
To show you what a small baseball world it really is, Miller, Gray and the rest of Team USA lost in the 2010 Gold Medal Game of the World University Games in Tokyo to a Team Cuba squad that featured the following players:
- Leyonis Martin, Rangers leadoff hitter
- Yoenis Cespedis, home run derby winner
- Henry Urrutia, 21 games with Baltimore
- Alfredo Gonzalez, signed with Philadelphia for 6 years/$50 million
- Alfredo Despaigne, broke Cespedis’ Cuban home run record
Miller has faced Gray just one time. On June 16, Gray started for the Sacramento River Cats while Miller was the Rainiers leadoff hitter. “He got me with a curveball, but I got a hit off him before he was done.”
Gray defeated the Rainiers that night by allowing three runs over six innings. Hopefully he won’t have the same success Tuesday night vs. the Mariners.
Mariners shortstop Brad Miller has been named the American League Player of the Week. In three games vs. the Astros, Miller hit .385 (5×13) with 4 runs scored, 2 home runs, 7 RBI and a 1.346 OPS. He recorded the first 2 home runs and a career-high 5 RBI Friday vs. the Astros.
Miller becomes the first Mariners player to earn POW honors since Felix Hernandez (8/20/12), and the first position player since Justin Smoak (6/4/12). He is the first Mariners rookie to earn the honor since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 (week ending 4/30/89).
The Mariners nine minor league affiliates wrapped up the 2012 season putting together one of the best season in club history, combining for a 496-406 (.550) record. The organization led all Major League farm systems in wins and winning percentage, while setting a new record for most wins in a single season. This has led to optimism in the Mariners pipeline, as Seattle has one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Baseball America unveiled their annual Top 10 Prospects list ranking the top Mariners in the minor leagues.
Baseball America’s Top 10 Mariners Prospects:
1. Mike Zunino, c
2. Taijuan Walker, rhp
3. Danny Hultzen, lhp
4. James Paxton, lhp
5. Nick Franklin, ss/2b
6. Brandon Maurer, rhp
7. Carter Capps, rhp
8. Stefen Romero, 2b
9. Brad Miller, ss
10. Victor Sanchez, rhp
Catcher Mike Zunino, selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player draft, quickly established himself as an offensive and defensive force and was ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners No. 1 prospect. In his first professional season, Zunino hit .360 (58×151) with 35 runs scored, 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 44 combined between Short-A Everett and AA Jackson.
The Mariners had six pitchers ranked in the top 10, including five of the top seven prospects. For the second straight year, right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker (#2) was tabbed as the Mariners top pitching prospect. In only his third professional season, Walker, 20, was one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League and was also named to the North Division All-Star Team. Left-handed pitchers Danny Hultzen (#3) and James Paxton (#4), joined right-handed pitchers Brandon Maurer (#6), Carter Capps (#7) and Victor Sanchez (#10) to round out the Mariners top pitching prospects. After being in the minor leagues less than a year, Capps made his Major League debut on Aug. 3, 2012 and became only the third player from the 2011 First-Year Players draft to make his ML debut. Hultzen, Maurer and Paxton each ranked amongst the Mariners organization leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts, while Sanchez at age 17 was the youngest player in the top 10.
While the Mariners are known for their top pitching prospects, it was their offensive numbers that really stood out in 2012. Amongst all full-season minor league clubs, the Mariners affiliates finished in the top 5 in nearly every offensive category, including ranking first in hits, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Infielders Nick Franklin (#5), Stefen Romero (#8) and Brad Miller (#9) joined Zunino as the Mariners position players in the organizations top 10 rankings. Romero was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year after batting .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 64 extra-base hits and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between High-A High Desert and AA Jackson. Franklin was recently named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospect Team, while Miller ranked second amongst all Minor Leaguers with 186 hits.
The Mariners announced the 2012 Minor League Awards today, and all players will be honored before the season finale today vs. the Los Angeles Angels.
Infielder Stefen Romero (High Desert/Jackson) was named Player of the Year, while right-hander Carter Capps (Jackson/Tacoma/Seattle) was named the Pitcher of the Year. Infielder Brad Miller (High Desert/Jackson) received the Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership and right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer (Jackson) was named the Most Improved Player in the Mariners organization.
Romero, 23, hit .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 64 extra-base (2B – 34, 3B – 7, HR – 23) and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. In only his second professional season, Romero finished 3rd amongst all full season minor leaguers in average and was named to the Baseball America 2012 Second-Team All-Star team as a second baseman. Romero was one of only 19 players in the minor leagues this season to knock in at least 100 runs. He tied for the organizational lead in average, while ranking 2nd in RBI and 3rd in home runs. Romero became the first Minor League Player in 2012 to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat on May 22 at Lancaster. He recorded 50 multi-hit games (25-High Desert, 25-Jackson), including 8 three-hit games and 6 season-high four-hit games. Romero was named to the California League All-Star team before being promoted to Jackson on June 21. With the Generals he hit safely in 47 of 55 games with an at-bat, while batting .347 (75×216). Romero, a native of Tucson, Arizona, attended Oregon State University from 2009-10 and was the Mariners 12th round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
“Stefen had an outstanding offensive season combined between High Desert and Jackson,” Zduriencik said. “He not only led the organization in many offensive categories, but was one of the top players in all of the minor leagues.
Capps, 22, went 2-3 with 19 saves and a 1.23 ERA (7 ER, 51.1 IP) in 39 relief appearances combined between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma. The 6-5, 220-pound right-hander averaged 13.2 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per 9.0 innings and converted 19 of 21 saves opportunities. He held opponents to a .212 (40×189) batting average, while walking 12 and striking out 75. Capps was selected to Seattle on July 31 and made his Major League debut on August 3 at New York (AL). In 18 relief appearances with the Mariners, Capps is 0-0 with a 3.96 ERA (11 ER, 25.0 IP) with 28 strikeouts. He was the third players from the 2011 draft to make his ML debut. Capps was the Mariners 3rd-round supplemental selection (121st overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mount Olive College (NC). He was named the 2011 NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with 2 saves and a 1.75 ERA in 20 games/15 starts.
“Carter had a great year which led to him being called up in early August,” Zduriencik said. “He had great command of the ball and was one of the most dominating relief pitchers in the minor leagues.”
Miller, 22, received the Mariners Heart and Soul Award for his exemplary play and leadership skills both on and off the field. Miller hit .334 (186×557) with 110 runs scored, 40 doubles, 7 triples, 15 home runs and 68 RBI in 137 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. His 186 hits ranked 2nd amongst all minor leaguers this year, while also ranking 4th in runs scored and tied for 10th in doubles. Miller led all Mariners farmhands with 56 multi-hit games, including 12 three-hit games and 2 season-high four-hit games. He reached base safely, via hit or walk, in 123 out of 137 (90%) games he appeared, including 90 of 97 games with the Mavericks. He was named California League All-Star team and named the league’s Player of the Week, April 5-15. Miller was the Mariners 2nd round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the Clemson University. He was named 2011 ACC Player-of-Year his junior season after leading the conference in average (.395) and on-base percentage (.489).
“Brad has been a leader both on and off the field this season,” Zduriencik said. “He has a knack for getting things started when they need to get started and motivating his teammates throughout the game.”
Maurer, 22, was recently named Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher after going 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA (49 ER, 137.2 IP) in 24 starts with AA Jackson. After being limited to only 22 games, 17 starts, over the 2010-11 seasons due to injuries, Maurer rebounded to lead the league with an .818 winning percentage and ranked 5th in ERA, while helping Jackson to the best record in the Southern League in 2012 (79-61). Maurer limited opponents to a .260 (133×512) average, while walking 48 and striking out 117. He finished tied for the Generals lead in wins (9), while leading the team in strikeouts (117) and innings pitched (137.1). In his final 14 starts of the season, from June 1-Aug. 16, Maurer went 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA (24 ER, 86.1 IP) and recorded 10 quality starts. During this stretch has lowered his season ERA from 4.38 to 3.20. After only recording 7 wins in his first four seasons in the Mariners organization, Maurer set a career-high with 9 wins in 2012. He was the Mariners 23rd round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Orange Lutheran (CA) High School. Maurer is 16-17 with a 3.65 ERA (131 ER, 323.0 IP) in 67 games, 58 starts in his four-year minor league career.
“Brandon committed himself to physical fitness in the offseason and the results showed with a successful season,” Zduriencik. “After a slow start to the season he emerged one of the top pitching prospects in the organization.”
Here is a complete rundown of all the Mariners minor leaguers in 2012:
Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn, in his first season with the Mariners, will lead the mini-camp and it will also be one of the first opportunities for him to evaluate players in the system. The Mariners have conducted a winter program for their minor league players for years, but this is the third year for a structured mini-camp that features 35 of the organizations top prospects that are not already in Major League camp. The players went through physicals yesterday, with the first workout today at the Peoria Sports Complex. The mini-camp runs through March 1.
“Mini-camp is comprised of players in our organization (that are nominated by our Minor League Coordinators) that have potential to play at a higher level, said Gywnn. “Each player goes through extensive performance tests to determine their strength and fitness level. Players will then meet with individual coordinators and coaches to determine their plan for the upcoming season.”
The goal is to get players a head start through instruction. Mini-camp is similar to instructional league in fall, but in the spring guys are fresh and what you teach them can carry on into the season.
“Each player will have something different to focus on during camp, Gwynn said. “It is an opportunity for one-on-one instruction to help players iron out deficiencies they might have as well as keeping their strengths growing. “
The camp is not only about hitting and throwing, but also focuses on off-field instruction. Players will be involved in community events, such as talking to local elementary students and visiting children at area hospitals. There are English classes for players who don’t speak it and tips on nutrition and etiquette.
“Many of the players are players from Latin American countries and have never been to the states or players who are entering their first year in professional baseball, Gwynn said. “They will be able to rely on our staff to answer any questions they may have on or off the field. “
Infielder Kyle Seager went through mini-camp in 2010 and remembered how important that camp was for him.
“Being able to come into camp early and learn all the drills ahead of the time helps a ton,” Seager said. “Having all the one-on-one instruction with the coaches helped a lot with my development heading into the 2010 season.”
Right-hander Forrest Snow went through mini-camp last season and was able to continue what he learned in mini-camp throughout the 2011 season.
“For pitchers mini-camp is continuation of our throwing program that we received at the end of the previous season,” Snow said. “Showing up to Peoria in early February allowed me to work with the pitching coaches to figure what I needed to improve on for the season. “
Among players taking part in the mini-camp are highly regarded prospects that include right-handed pitchers Victor Sanchez and Carter Capps, catcher Marcus Littlewood, infielders Brad Miller and Cavan Cohoes and outfielders Guillermo Pimentel, Phillips Castillo and Jabari Blash.
Littlewood is continuing to make the transition from shortstop to catcher, which began during Instructional League in September. He hopes to continue his development, while taking advantage of the one-on-one instruction with the catching coordinators.
“It is still a work in progress, but Roger Hansen, Jose Moreno and Scott Steinnmann have worked with me a lot in the offseason to help make the transition as smooth as possible,” Littlewood said. “I had to work a lot on my flexibility long before I started taking balls behind the plate.”
Littlewood looks forward to viewing the game from a different point of view.
“I am looking forward to being the captain and controlling the game behind the plate,” Littlewood said. “It is my job to help set the defenses as well as working with the pitcher on pitch selection and location.”
Infielder Brad Miller, the Mariners second round selection in the 2011 June draft, played in just a few games with the Clinton LumberKings at the end of last season and is looking forward to 2012.
“I am excited to get here early and to start working with all the coaches,” Miller said. “Darren Garner and Eddie Menchaca have worked with us a lot on all aspects of the game, including baserunning.”
Miller spent the last three seasons playing shortstop at the Clemson University. He received the 2011 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award, after hitting .395 (77×195) with 53 runs scored, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 50 RBI in 56 games during his junior season. Miller has already noticed big differences between the collegiate and professional levels.
“There is a lot of emphasis on details and focusing on improving the little things,” Miller said. “When Major League coach Mike Brumley came over and worked with us on baserunning it really set in how important everything was. I really look forward to getting more time to talk and ask questions to all the coaches. “
The Mariners signed 9 of their first 10 picks in the 2011 June Draft and currently have 7 players participating in mini-camp, including right-handed pitchers Carter Capps and Carson Smith, catchers John Hicks and Tyler Marlette and infielders Brad Miller, Steven Proscia and Cavan Cohoes. The Mariners first-round selection in the 2011 draft, LHP Danny Hultzen is currently participating in Major League camp this year.
Ten players that have participated in the Mariners mini-camp are in Major League camp this spring, including right-handed Erasmo Ramirez, infielders Alex Liddi and Nick Franklin and outfielders Johermyn Chavez and Carlos Peguero. Of the 30 players listed as the Mariners top prospects by Baseball America in 2012, 19 will have participated in mini-camp.
Day 5 / Thursday, February 16, 2012 / 40 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 56 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: Not a cloud in the sky during workouts as the temperatures hovered in the lower to mid-60’s.
Quote of the Day: “Heads Up!” – Players and coaches yelled to General Manager Jack Zduriencik warning him after infielder Vinnie Catricala hit a scorching line drive that nearly hit the golf cart Jack was riding in. This following a shot down the line that almost took out a group of photographers.
The Day: Day 5 was very similar to day 4, with pitchers taking PFP (Pitcher’s Fielding Practice), while half the pitchers had a throwing session in the bullpen. Starters Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan threw their third bullpen session, while a crowd of coaches and media stayed and watched pitchers Stephen Pryor, Erasmo Ramirez, Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton throw in the bullpen as well.
So far 60 of the 66 players invited to Major League camp have been spotted around the complex. The position players will officially report tomorrow for physicals, while the first full squad workout is on Saturday.
Infielder Vinnie Catricala impressed many of the coaches during his BP session this afternoon. Besides nearly taking of the GM and half the photographers watching, he was hitting the ball all over field. Looks like he is picking up exactly where he left off at the end of last year. Catricala was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year in 2011, after hitting .349 (182×521) with 101 runs scored, 77 extra-base (2B – 48, 3B – 4, HR – 25) and 106 RBI in 133 games combined between A High Desert and AA Jackson. Among full season minor leaguers he ranked 2nd in extra-base hits, 3rd in hits, T3rd in doubles, T4th in batting average and T9th in RBI.
Tweet of the Day:
— Vinnie Catricala (@VinnieCatricala) February 15, 2012
Carlos Peguero wins the award for longest drive of the day. He launched a mammoth shot that hit the 32-foot-high batter’s eye in center field 410-feet away to highlight BP. Not sure if the ball bounced back to the field or got stuck in the chain-link fence.
A group of 35 of the Mariners top Minor League players are in camp today for physicals to take part in the team’s annual mini camp for many of top lower-level prospects. The first workout for mini-camp players is tomorrow and workouts will run through March 1. Mini-camp is an opportunity for players to receive one-on-one instruction from the coaching staff and work on improvement plans for Spring Training and the rest of the 2012 season. Among players taking part in the mini camp are highly regarded prospects right-handed pitchers Victor Sanchez and Carter Capps, catcher Marcus Littlewood, infielders Brad Miller and Cavan Cohoes and outfielders Guillermo Pimentel, Phillips Castillo and Jabari Blash.